Heatstroke risk predictions for current and near-future summers in Sendai, Japan, based on mesoscale WRF simulations

Masataka Kasai, Tsubasa Okaze, Akashi Mochida, Kazumasa Hanaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The incidence of heatstroke has been increasing in Japan, and future climate change is likely to increase heatstroke risk. We therefore developed a method to quantify the spatial distribution of outdoor heatstroke risk and predicted future changes in this risk considering the predicted climate change in Sendai, Japan. Heatstroke risk was quantified by assessing hazard, vulnerability and exposure. Daily maximum wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) was selected as the hazard index. The distribution of WBGT was predicted by mesoscale meteorological simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The relationship between daily maximum WBGT and the daily incidence rate was approximated by analyzing emergency transport data. This relationship was selected as the vulnerability index. Using the hazard and vulnerability indices, a spatial distribution of the monthly incidence rate was obtained. Finally, the total number of heatstroke patients per month was estimated by multiplying the monthly incidence rate by the population density. The outdoor heatstroke risk for August was then estimated for current (2000s) and near-future (2030s) climatic conditions in Sendai. WBGT at coastal areas in the 2030s increased owing to increases in humidity, while WBGT at inland areas increased owing to increases in air temperature. This increase in WBGT drove increases in heatstroke risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1467
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume9
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 18

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Future prediction
  • Global climate model
  • Heatstroke risk
  • Sendai
  • Weather research and forecasting (WRF) model
  • Wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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